New Labour is planning devastating public service cuts – to education, health, the civil service and firefighters. They say that the cuts will not have an impact on “front line” services, but they already are.
For Gordon Brown’s ministers no service is sacred. Fire authorities across the country are slashing jobs, cutting the number of fire engines and abolishing specialist rescue teams.
That will leave the fire service under-resourced – and put people’s lives in danger.
And the government has pledged that some £2 billion will be cut from education.
Education minister Ed Balls claims this will have no impact on our children’s education. But colleges up and down the country are already closing courses, shedding staff and dumping students at a time when many young people are finding it difficult to find a job.
Labour says the NHS needs to make £20 billion of savings. Claims that there will be no cuts in the number of nurses and doctors. But these cuts will fall on cleaners and ancillary staff whose role is just as vital.
Local councils are already cutting jobs, slashing pay and ripping up pension agreements.
Over the next year they will be cutting more. Key services, such as home help for the elderly, are disappearing.
Brown’s government is desperate to balance the budget after squandering billions of pounds of our money to bail out the banks.
Now we are being told we have to pay again with our jobs and services.
But New Labour is not having it all its own way. Resistance is growing across the country. This week alone post workers, college lecturers and council workers have all been taking strike action.
Over the next year more and deeper cuts will be announced. We must support every struggle for our services, and build for the big fights now and in the future.